Accidents can happen virtually any time and anywhere, even if you’re not behind the wheel of a car. Say you’re out for a leisurely stroll, enjoying the Houston sunshine, when out of nowhere a motor vehicle slams into you. You tumble onto the pavement, dazed and disoriented. The car screeches to a halt and the driver jumps out, reeling off apologies.
This whole situation can make you feel harried, yet it’s important to keep your wits about you. Here are some guidelines that can help you protect both your physical and financial wellbeing following a pedestrian accident.
Steps to Take Following a Pedestrian Accident
1) Take stock.
It’s only natural to feel a little panicky but try to keep yourself calm enough to assess any bodily injuries you might have. In particular, take stock of any injuries that make it impossible for you to move. If you can move, make sure you relocate to a safe location, away from the street. If you can’t move, ask someone to dial 911 right away, and lay still.
2) Call the police.
Hopefully, a witness has already called the police, or else the driver has. If not, ask someone to call law enforcement. Having the police dispatched is critical, as it creates an official report of the accident. Also, calling the police will usually result in medical services coming, too. It’s important to be checked out and assessed for injury, even if you don’t believe you’ve been seriously hurt.
3) Get the driver’s information.
Before the driver gets away, make sure you snap a picture of their license plate, driver’s license, and insurance card. Also try to get them to jot down their phone number. When talking to the driver, avoid admitting any fault of your own; in fact, avoid talking about fault at all. Also try not to offer any kind of apology, even out of basic politeness.
4) Gather evidence.
For a successful insurance claim (and possibly a lawsuit), you’ll want to have a large body of evidence. Try to take photos of the scene of the accident. Also keep the clothes you were wearing at the time; don’t wash them or toss them out. Finally, take a few minutes to jot down your impressions of the incident, just to ensure you don’t forget.
5) Get medical care.
If there’s no medical service at the scene of the accident, be sure you visit a clinic or see your general physician. Even if you think you’re basically okay, with little more than scrapes and bruises, it’s good for your health and for your insurance claim if you seek a medical opinion.
6) Deal with insurers.
Your insurance plan might include coverage for uninsured motorists, or you may hear from an adjuster from the driver’s insurance carrier. Either way, be ready to answer any questions truthfully, without discussing fault, signing any settlements, or making any formal statements.
7) Contact a personal injury lawyer.
As you recover from a pedestrian accident, you’ll want some legal muscle in your corner. If you’re in Houston, reach out to McLaurin Law. Our team is here to guide you through the pedestrian accident claims process, fighting passionately for your rights. Reach out whenever you need us.